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Legislative proposal to make it easier for foreign students and researchers to stay in Finland

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 24.6.2021 10.26 | Published in English on 29.6.2021 at 14.38
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Kuvassa joukko nuoria eri taustoista tulevia opiskelijoita keskustelee pöydän ääressä.

As per its Programme, the Government wants to facilitate the stay of foreign researchers, students and their families in Finland by extending residence permits and streamlining permit procedures. The proposal aims to make Finland a more attractive destination for skilled labour.  

According to the proposal, students would receive a residence permit for the entire duration of their studies. Students must present a statement of their financial resources for the first year. However, students must have sufficient financial resources available during the entire period the permit is valid. Compliance with this will be monitored in different ways.  

The residence permit for higher education students would change from temporary (type B) to continuous (type A), which would make it easier for students to obtain a permanent residence permit. Family members would also receive a type A permit. The amendment would not affect the obligation to pay tuition fees. These changes would help students educated in Finland to become part of the Finnish labour market. 

Better opportunities for graduates to apply for work

The proposal would also extend a residence permit for researchers and graduates who have completed their studies, or the so-called job-seeking permit, to two years. The permit would not need to be used immediately, but could be applied for within five years of graduation or the completion of research. 

The purpose is to collate similar residence permits under the same Act. In order for the Act to meet practical needs better, it is also proposed that the Act lay down rules on national residence permits for students, researchers, trainees and volunteers.

The consultation round for the proposal takes place between 24 June and 20 August 2021. The Act is due to enter into force on 1 February 2022.

Jarmo Tiukkanen, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 295 047 355, [email protected] (available on 6–30 July)
Ariann Grandell, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 047 020, [email protected] (available from 26 July)

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